Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 | 2:54 p.m.
The glory and incredible history of artist Leonardo da Vinci is returning in an exhibition to open at the Venetian on March 12 with a VIP reception the night before. “Da Vinci: The Exhibition” was prompted by the extraordinary earlier success of the “Da Vinci: The Genius” show there but is far more comprehensive and interactive, with a strong focus on his historical artwork.
Tom Zaller, president of Imagine Exhibitions, which produced the show coming to North America for the first time, told me: “This will be a U.S. premiere and will be far more interactive than the earlier show — 65 life-size, fully built exhibits and mechanical machines with many more for people to handle, plus, more than 20 artistic masterpieces.”
Many pieces in “Da Vinci: The Exhibition” are in excellent working condition, creating an immersive experience for guests. “There is a much stronger connection to Italy and how his life and work related to his heritage,” Tom said. “This exhibition provides a full Italian experience, which is what visitors want at the Venetian.
“It’s bigger, better and badder! There’s more focus on da Vinci’s Italy and his artworks, with many more visuals and information on him as an amazing individual.
“The emphasis on his art includes some of his disputed pieces. We’re bringing back another ‘Mona Lisa’ reproduction for visitors to gaze into those elusive eyes. They can ponder the majesty of ‘The Last Supper’ or learn the rich history behind pieces such as ‘Portrait of a Young Man,’ ‘Virgin of the Rocks,’ ‘St. John the Baptist,’ ‘St. Jerome,’ ‘Madonna of Carnation’ and more. This exhibition also discusses in detail da Vinci’s ‘Golden Ratio’ theories on the golden rectangle found in nature and extensively in his work.”
In the “Genius” show, I learned about da Vinci’s many inventions. He was far more than a painter; he had great successes in mathematics, geology, botany, architecture, sculptures and music. In this new show set out in the 6,800-square-foot gallery, there are even larger elements.
Da Vinci developed the early concepts for inventions such as the helicopter, army tank, SCUBA gear, crane, clock, submarine and mechanical workings of a modern city. Documentary videos will be shown to provide the amazing information of his creative process in the late 1400s and early 1500s.
A true Italian Renaissance scientist, da Vinci also dove deep into the world of anatomy. This new installation will feature several in-depth looks at his studies and hand-written drawings and notes from his controversial research on the human body.
“The experience follows this leading figure on a journey of innovation, creativity, science and wonder amid beautiful scenes of his Italian countryside,” Tom said. “You get his life, his research, his art and his mechanical inventions. He discovered engineering, flight, hydraulics and more. It’s an unsurpassed opportunity and comprehensive tribute to his works for guests to experience the life and accomplishments of one of the greatest artists and scientists the world has ever known.”
Each invention featured in “Da Vinci: The Exhibition” was faithfully hand-re-created using a modern translation of da Vinci’s unique mirrored writing style in an ancient Florentine dialect. Trained artisans used the translations to construct full-scale models and bring the master’s two-dimensional plans to life.
The Imagine Exhibitions Gallery at the Venetian is currently home to “50 Greatest Photographs of National Geographic,” which concludes its engagement Sunday.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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In the spirit of Venice, The Venetian is a little piece of romantic Italy right here in Las Vegas. The Venetian is an "all-suite" hotel, with rooms accented with plush linens and Italian marble. The 4,027 suites are divided into two towers: The 36-story Venetian Tower that offers guests a taste of luxurious Las Vegas and the Venezia suites, which guarantee 12 floors of high-end elegance. The top five floors are the hotel's highest level of luxury with its private access, concierge lounge, upgraded features and even a dedicated staff.
The flagship of Venetian nightlife is TAO, an ultra-hip nightclub located inside of TAO Asian Bistro. V Bar is The Venetian's super smooth ultra lounge, made by the owners of New York City's club Lotus and Los Angeles' super swank Sunset Room.
The Venetian features 19 restaurants including Thomas Keller's award-winning French restaurant Bouchon, Mario Batali's B&B Ristorante, Aquaknox for fresh seafood and the 42,000 square foot TAO Asian Bistro. There's also the food court inside the Canal Shoppes for those looking for a quick bite.
Guests can float along The Grand Canal Shops in an authentic Italian gondola ride and pass stores like Burberry and Kenneth Cole along the way. And if you haven't caught a real celeb, on the street in Vegas, you can head over to Madame Tussauds to check out a wax version.